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Havering organisations out to raise dementia awareness

PUBLISHED: 10:18 02 July 2014

Deputy Mayor Cllr Barbara Matthews, Joshua Wilson, Kim Wilson, Yvonne Wilson, Derek Wilson, Dr Maurice Sanomi (CCG Board member and clinical lead for dementia)

Deputy Mayor Cllr Barbara Matthews, Joshua Wilson, Kim Wilson, Yvonne Wilson, Derek Wilson, Dr Maurice Sanomi (CCG Board member and clinical lead for dementia)

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A supergroup of businesses, charities, GPs and Havering Council aims to make the borough more dementia friendly.

Thousands of employees from 25 organisations, including The Alzheimer’s Society, have created the Havering Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA).

To mark the launch, a special open day was held last week at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, to promote the group and target more members.

Dr Atul Aggarwal, Havering Clinical Commissioing Group (CCG) chairman and a local GP said: “This alliance is all about the whole community working together to make our borough more dementia friendly. As Havering residents live longer, dementia is becoming more common.

“Local GPs are backing the alliance and we’ve got a full range of local services, charities and businesses on board too.

“We need a community-wide response to dementia so our message at the launch is clear: join us to make our borough better for those with dementia.”

Each member of the HDAA has promised to take steps to improve the life of those living with dementia.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be over 4,500 people in Havering with dementia – an increase of over 1,500 compared to 2011/12.

While the numbers are increasing, public awareness of the condition and how it affects people’s lives is still low, something the group aims to change.

Yvonne Wilson, of Romford, whose husband Derek suffers frmo dementia, was also present.

She said: “I want to make people aware of people who have dementia and when they are out to help them, not to push them along and to make them hurry. They [people with dementia] will do things at their own pace.”

Havering CCG is one of the leading alliance members and has promised to work with the council to reduce the number of people who are undiagnosed as having dementia.

Any organisation can join the alliance by submitting their pledge which they will develop into an action plan and then share their experiences and successes at regular meetings.

For more information visit dementiaaction.org.

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